Meet The Runholder — Martinborough’s incredible new hospitality experience where world-class wines & spirits, exceptional fare and striking vistas collide

Nestled on the edge of the famed Martinborough Terrace in the midst of Wairarapa sits The Runholder, an expansive new hospitality beacon by Foley Wines that celebrates the best of the region’s spoils. With its restaurant, tasting room, cellar door, distillery, private dining room and subterranean barrel hall, The Runholder sits pretty on a run of land at Te Kairanga vineyard — a plot originally held by Martinborough’s pioneering namesake, John Martin. Here, you’ll find exquisite local food and drink, striking views, and endless ways to while away a day in paradise.

First and foremost, the expansive space acts as a flagship to two of the region’s most lauded wineries — Te Kairanga and Martinborough Vineyard, and the Lighthouse Gin distillery, with a cellar door for all three, and an incredible culinary offering, too.

Drawing inspiration from the rural landscape and Martinborough’s rich history, Christchurch-based Nott Architects set out to mirror the structure of a farm shed when conceiving the design, incorporating a high pitched, heavily gabled roof. The interiors follow a similar theme, paying homage to Wairarapa’s iconic woolsheds with aged linear timber and open ceilings — creating a sense of both space and intimacy. Celebrating the land and the bounty of the wider region in both design and name, The Runholder is an ode to the richly historied site the building now occupies.

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When it comes to the impressive food offering, the options are bountiful. With the capacity to seat 100 diners across a series of spaces that span casual to intimate (including a sun-soaked outdoor terrace and a private dining space), here, you’ll find something for every taste and proclivity. Helmed by esteemed chef Tim Smith (formerly executive chef at luxury lodge Wharekauhau and personal chef for the 2014 British Royal Tour of New Zealand and former executive chef at Potatohead in Bali.) The Runholder’s menu celebrates Wairarapa’s abundant produce, crafted to perfectly complement the wines and gin on offer.


Smith’s exacting hand is evident in the elevated but pared-back menu, which comprises the freshest locally sourced and sustainable fare. From antipasti, charcuterie, and cheese platters to sharing plates, charcoal-grilled seafood and prime cuts, and wood-fired pizzas, no matter when you visit, or what your appetite is, you’re guaranteed satiation.

Across the entire menu, dishes are inventive and skillfully prepared — from cured fresh fish served with lime, shallot, olive oil and kumara, to Wairarapa wood-fired lamb ribs with harissa, farro tabbouleh, labneh, and charcoal-grilled octopus, Lighthouse Gin and tomato consommé, roasted peppers and basil seeds, to handmade pizzas topped with simple but beautifully balanced combinations, and platters acting as an exploration of the local landscape.

And as for the drinks list, as one would imagine, the offering is abundant. Here, you’ll find an extensive library of both Te Kairanga and Martinborough Vineyard wines by the glass and bottle (also available as tasting trays and flights) — including cellar and rare wines, and new releases, available alongside limited-edition, barrel-aged editions of Lighthouse Gin.

A regular calendar of events including long lunches, special dinners and musical performances
by likes of the NZSO will be announced in the coming months, as will full details on Toast
Martinborough. The iconic wine & food festival was recently acquired by Foley Wines and will
continue to celebrate the best of the region and the boutique personality of the Martinborough
village. Festival goes can expect full details by August.

At The Runholder, impeccable, locally sourced and crafted food and drink and spectacular surrounds collide in a destination that makes for the perfect escape, where locals and tourists alike are invited to enjoy the spoils of the region under one (exceptionally well-crafted) roof.

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday, 11am until 4pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am until 9pm

The Runholder

89 Martins Road
New Zealand


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